BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (FOX 56) – There’s a new advisory for counties impacted by the deadly flooding.

Tetanus shots are now recommended to eastern Kentuckians.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Tetanus, also commonly called lockjaw, is a serious disease of the nervous system caused by a toxin-producing bacterium. The disease causes muscle contractions, particularly in the jaw and neck.

Post-flood, many eastern Kentuckians are still dealing with contaminated waters and handling debris, which increases the chances for contracting the bacteria.

In Breathitt County, the Jackson Medical Clinic Family Health Care is administering free tetanus shots, as well as waiving all charges for patient visitations.

Justin Neace, owner of Jackson Medical Clinic, said he grew up in Breathitt County and knows its people.

“Money isn’t really of the essence at a time like this, so you just kind of waive everything that’s monetary, and just do the best you can to help everybody out,” Neace said.

Neace has been helping his in-laws clean up their home as it is a total loss from the historic flood on July 28.

From where Neace is standing, he sees how his family and flood victims are surrounded by numerous possibilities of getting sick from infections.


“A lot of the stuff that’s been in the waters, especially the metals … when someone comes in contact especially with an open wound, or creating an open wound,” Neace said.

Not only by touch, but flood victims are also easily susceptible to inhaling bacteria from mold and sewage water.

“Especially when the sewage dries up, it becomes airborne, and a lot of people don’t realize it,” Neace said.

Dr. Ellen Tebos at the Jackson Medical Clinic said if flood victims contract tetanus, they will suffer symptoms from a fever, chills, muscle degeneracy, neck stiffness, and it can even be fatal.

Aside from the tetanus shot, the Jackson Medical Clinic is advising flood victims to look at other antibacterial vaccines, including the Hepatitis A shot.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection.

To visit the Jackson Medical Clinic Family Health Care location in Breathitt County, see the following information:

Hwy. 15 S Suite 240, Jackson , KY 41339.

PHONE 606-824-5037

Open seven days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.